Saint-Nazaire: “Sprint” to Build the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

Finance Local News
The "Harmony of the Seas" cruise ship built in St. Nazaire is almost completed

Cable pull, furniture to install: some 3,200 people …

Cable pull, furniture to install: some 3,200 people busy aboard the giant liner “Harmony of the Seas”, the construction in the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique) has completed “95%” and have begun the “final sprint”, three months before delivery.

The various dining and entertainment spaces are taking shape in a continuous noise of drills and jackhammers to each of sixteen decks loaded with scaffolding of the vessel 362 metres long and 66 metres wide, which displays 227,500 tonnes gross tonnage, making it the biggest cruise ship ever built.

If the carpet was laid and the lights installed on the steps of the ice like in the casino, under intense cleaning before a presentation to the American shipowners Royal Caribbean International (RCI), there is still “much to do” to complete this “huge progress” before delivery on May 12, said Laurent Castaing, General manager of STX France.

The order placed by the end of 2012 by the subsidiary cruise line Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) had constituted “a breath of fresh air” for shipyards and many subcontractors in the region. The previous two ships of the Oasis class were built by STX, but in Finland.

In total, this “exceptional ship” worth nearly a billion euros, representing ten million hours of work and it “still has a few hundred thousand to do,” says Castaing.

In the corridors of the giant of the seas or in public buildings, about 3,200 people work to connect the 4,000 km of cables required, install 100,000 light points or finish off some of the painting.

“When we took control, we knew we would do a marathon three and a half years.  There, we feel that this is the end, the final sprint. (…) It is not always easy, but we are in time,” says Jean-Yves Péan, head of Oasis contract with STX. Sea trials, are from the 10th to the 13th March and in April, we must “validate all the ship’s performance.”

Bionic Bar bionic and giant slide

“There is twelve weeks. 95% of the work is completed, but it is often the last 5% most difficult, those that require the most attention. It’s the details that are going to count, “says Gianluca Corneli, manager at RCI.

The star attractions of the “Harmony of the Seas”, which will accommodate up to 6,700 passengers plus 2,100 crew members, only visualize the moment that using 3D glasses. The bionic bar where two robotic arms will catch the bottles on the ceiling, or “The Ultimate Abyss”, the highest slide in the sea from a height of ten bridges on the back of the ship, are among the last areas to be landscaped .

This floating city will also host many shops and restaurants, in the “Royal Promenade”, an interior street in the heart of the ship, but also a zip line, a basketball court, mini golf, surfing simulators, floating jacuzzis, and a large theater of 1,400 seats, which will be offered the Broadway musicals.

“We still have many finishes, but is not this just the owner the day before departure.Already 1,700 passenger cabins on 2,700 have been, then it will be each grid, each power circuit (…). When vaccuumed briquera and that is that this will be the end, “says Pascal Favreau, responsible for the construction of the ship.

Tens of thousands of plants and trees will be shipped and installed in “Central Park”, an open park in the eight bridge, three days before the departure of the ship from Saint-Nazaire, scheduled for 15 May, to Southampton, where it will begin its maiden voyage before being used in the Mediterranean for cruises of eight days from Barcelona.

The twin brother of “Harmony of the Seas”, whose construction began in Saint-Nazaire, must be delivered in 2018.

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